World Fellowship of Buddhists Conference in China – Resolution to establish a Standing Committee on Animal Welfare
The Buddhist Channel, Sept 13, 2014
Colombo, Sri Lanka -- The 27th General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists will be held in Baoji, China from October 15 – 19, 2014.
The German Dharmaduta Society being a Regional Centre will be proposing a Resolution to establish a Standing Committee on Animal Welfare at this Conference.
The text of the Resolution, prepared by Senaka Weeraratna, Honorary Secretary, German Dharmaduta Society, is appended below.
Proposal to establish an Animal Welfare Standing Committee
Text of the Resolution
Buddhism places an unequivocal high emphasis on peace and non –violence, expresses moral concern and respect for the lives of all living beings on the indisputable basis that life is dear to all, and extols the cultivation of loving – kindness and compassion on par with that of a mother who protects with her life her only child, and calls on humanity to cherish all living beings with a boundless heart radiating kindness over the entire world (Karaniya Metta Sutta);
As much as the protection of the ecological environment including its living creatures is of paramount importance, and a moral and civic responsibility has been cast on humanity to prevent the rapid diminution of earth’s resources which are finite, likewise the curtailment of the abuse and cruelty committed on animals is a moral obligation that need to be emphasized and supported particularly by Buddhist Organisations committed to the propagation and spread, and practice of Buddhism;
The World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) has responded to the need for supporting humanitarian causes in the world by establishing a Standing Committee on Humanitarian Services;
Likewise it is Hereby Resolved by the General Council of the WFB at the WFB 27th General Conference 2014 to establish a Standing Committee on Animal Welfare:
i) To promote Animal Welfare, Animal Rights (right to life and to be free from suffering) and Buddhist tenets of compassion for all living beings,
ii) To monitor legislation and enforcement of laws on Animal Protection, Animal Rights and Animal Welfare in various countries with a view to ushering in reform and updating of such legislation incorporating modern standards of treatment of animals, and
iii) To provide an Annual Report with Recommendations and Measures adopted towards the prevention of cruelty and abuse of animals; and promotion of animal welfare in the member countries of WFB, and in the rest of the world.
The Conceptual Framework of the Resolution
It is based on the Buddha’s First Precept of the Pancha Seela, the Noble Eightfold Path, Karaniya Metta Sutra and in line with the overall teachings of the Buddha.
4. How the Proposed Resolution will be implemented if it is adopted by the General Conference
a) The main purpose of the Standing Committee is to give voice to the suffering of animals and draw the attention of Buddhists and Buddhist countries to their plight and recommend measures to eliminate or reduce their suffering in line with Buddhist teachings
b) To support the enactment and / or updating of Animal Welfare legislation in Buddhist countries
c) To prepare policy papers for release by the WFB reminding Buddhists that the Buddha extended compassion and non – harming to all sentient beings and accordingly act in specific contexts of animal abuse and suffering.
5. Participation and allocation of the budgets by those concerned for realization of the Resolution
The primary purpose of the Standing Committee on Animal Welfare is to give voice to the suffering of animals. However if any funds are required then efforts will be made to seek such funds from established Animal Rights and Animal Welfare organisations and other charitable institutions.
6. Observation and / or recommendation (if any)
This step of the WFB in moving towards Animal Welfare and Protection of Animals is long overdue for the premier World Buddhist Organisation.